TV crew for “UA:Zakarpattya” refused to attend meeting of candidate for presidency Boyko with electors
The TV crew for TV channel “UA:Zakarpattya” was refused to attend the meeting of the candidate for the presidency Yuriy Boyko with leaders of Magyar community in Zakarpatty region on March 7th. As the journalist Myroslava Zhabey told in the report covering the visit of Yuriy Boyko to Zakarpattya region, she confirmed it to the IMI correspondent as well. At first, Yuriy Boyko came to the village Orikhovytsya where he communicated to one of the elected officials to the village council. There the TV crew for “UA:Zakarpattya” could record his soundbite. Then, Yuriy Boyko went to the meeting with leaders of Magyar ethnic minority in Uzhgorod, but the meeting was closed-door. But as Mysroslava Zhabey told, some journalists were admitted to this meeting for several minutes, but not the TV crew of “UA:Zakarpattya. The person at the entry refused to comment why some journalists could get in and others did not. As Ali Safarov, IMI lawyer commented on this incident, any selective approach while giving access to some "friendly" journalists to any information which is important for the society, and the election campaign does present itself an publicly important information, is breach to the essential principles of the laws on information. At the same time, he added, the Law “On election of the President of Ukraine” does not have any disposition saying that a journalist or a mass media outlet has right to attend whatever event of a candidate for the presidency. “This is an issue of the law in force that the journalists from various mass media and regions of Ukraine are facing while they are covering activity of several candidates for the presidency. The law provides guarantees of equal and impartial attitude of mass media towards any candidate for the presidency, but it does not guarantee the same equal and impartial attitude of the candidates towards the mass media and journalists”, he said. However, there are some general provisions of the information legislation, as for instance the paragraphe 2nd of the article 24 of the Law “On information” which forbids to interfere into professional activity of the journalist, to control the content of diffused information, in particular to let diffuse or not some precise information, to impose bans to cover some topics and so on. “Coverage of election campaign, in particular of the candidates for the presidency and their meeting with electors is publicly important information which allows the electors to make consciously their choice. Thus, suppression of such information, a selective access to such information of only journalists who are friendlty to them is breach to the fundamental principles of the legislation on information”, Ali Safarov told. IMI informed, on February 22nd, the TV channel “Pryamyy” informed theit TV chew was not allowed to attend the press conference of another candidate for the presidencyYulia Tymoshenko. The same day, the TV crew for 5th Channel was denied to attend the press conference of Tymoshenko. February 23rd, one journalist was not allowed to attend the meeting of another candidate for the presidency Oleksander Vilkul in Dnipro.
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